Smackdown Live Review 12/11/2018
SMACKDOWN LIVE REVIEW 12/11/2018
Smack Down Live Review: December 11, 2018
Author: Captain Charisma
Live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
Opening In-Ring Segment: Daniel Bryan, Mustafa Ali
The WWE Champion The New Daniel Bryan opens the show by entering the T-Mobile Arena for an in-ring promo heading into Sunday’s Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view. Bryan states that he wanted to apologize to the “sheep” (animal) to being compared to the WWE Universe. He then refers to the audience as parasites and claim that they latched on to the old Daniel Bryan who is now dead. He then responds to an out roar of AJ Styles chants from the crowd by claiming that he will retain against Styles come Sunday. Mustafa Ali appears and introduces himself to Daniel. Bryan cuts him off and gives a proper introduction to Ali as well as give high praise for the Heart and Soul of 205 Live. Bryan claims to Ali that the people do not deserve their match later that night and starts chanting fickle. Ali interrupts and states that Daniel Bryan inspired him to become a WWE superstar. After making the statement, he challenges him to a fight. Bryan then questions what vehicle Ali drives and then a brawl occurs which turns into turmoil. After knocking the WWE Champion out of the ring, Mustafa goes to the top rope and hits Bryan with a diving attack to send us to commercial break.
The New Daniel Bryan is a pretty awesome idea to display for the WWE Universe and has paid off dearly. This heel run has delivered so far, even for a major babyface as Daniel Bryan. His delivery has really been impressive and entertaining as of late too! Plus, the addition of Mustafa Ali was evermore perfect!
Match #1: Daniel Bryan vs. Mustafa Ali – Non-Title Match
Coming back from commercial, Daniel Bryan dominates against Mustafa Ali with vicious kicks and strikes to bring the cruiserweight down. Gaining the upper hand early, Bryan hits Ali with a series of formerly known as Yes kicks. However, it is Ali who comes back and gains momentum with rapid fire offense, which takes the champion to ringside. It does not last that long as Bryan finds an opening and irish-whips Ali into the outside ring post to bring us back to another commercial. Coming back from the second break, Daniel Bryan applies the Yes lock on Ali but is unsuccessful. Ali finds another momentum boost and fights back against the champion. After a back-and-forth display, Ali delivers a tornado DDT and goes for the pin but it is only good for two. Ali then attempts to finish the match with his finisher “054” but is unsuccessful once again. Daniel Bryan then targets the left knee of Ali and applies the Heel Hook submission for the victory. After the match, Bryan attacks Ali from the outside and applies the Heel Hook once again to put forth a statement to AJ Styles come Sunday.
Result: Daniel Bryan via submission
That was a fun match between the two superstars who carry two vary different wrestling styles. It was definitely worth the watch considering we saw a display of high-flying offense versus a striking/grappling based offense from The New Daniel Bryan. For some reason, I felt the vibe of a vintage Bryan Danielson match back when he was in the independent wrestling scene. Great display of athleticism and agility between the two athletes!
In-Ring Segment – Rap Battle: The New Day, The Bar, and The Usos
The New Day welcomes the Las Vegas audience to the second ever SmackDown Live rap battle between The Bar and The Usos. They then lay down the rules and hand it to The Bar to start. The Bar start their rap with a parody rap from Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby, but instead replace it with Ice, Ice Sheamy. The New Day are hilariously impressed and hand it to the Usos. Jimmy disses the Bar with references to Sheamus’s “you look stupid” chants from 2016 and Cesaro’s teeth being knocked out from a turnbuckle. The Usos then state that they are nine years strong in WWE and claim that no matter who they have to go through, they will become victorious. The three teams then have an all-out brawl. However, it is the Bar who come out standing on top with their Smack Down tag team titles.
I did not expect this rap battle to be as entertaining as it was! Seeing The Bar paying homage to Vanilla Ice, The New Day dressing up formally, and the Usos spitting bars was a unique mixture. Was this rap battle as good as last year’s independence day battle? Absolutely not. But it did showcase how all three teams can work a crowd and keep the entertainment going
Close up shot on Asuka backstage. Asuka appears from backstage and cuts a promo on how her WrestleMania 34 loss to Charlotte was nothing more than a mistake on her behalf. The Empress of Tomorrow claims that the rematch tonight will not be replicated. Her final statement is that she will not only be victorious but she will also gain the Women’s Championship at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs this Sunday.
In-Ring Segment: The Miz
The Miz appears in the ring and calls out Shane McMahon with the Best in the World Trophy. He then goes on one knee, making a reference to Jon Snow taking a knee in the NFL, and asks for Shane to come out. Shane McMahon appears. Shane asks Miz why he is in the mood he is in. Miz responds by saying that they are a team and they mean more to each other than a trophy. To lead by example, Miz calls out a referee and tells Shane that they will compete in a tag team match against local competitors.
Match #2: Shane McMahon and The Miz vs. Local Competitors
The match starts with the two local competitors “The Vegas Boys” Chip and Chad attacking Shane in a two on one assault. After being dominated by the enhancement talents, Shane makes a comeback and strikes back at both competitors while Miz chills in his tag corner. McMahon then applies the triangle choke submission to end the match. The Miz celebrates with the Best in the World Trophy and raises Shane’s hand in victory but McMahon seems unsure about the victory.
This Best in the World storyline has not really made me a fan. Yes, I understand that tournament was supposed to be a huge deal but in no way, shape, or form is the trophy relevant today. Being titled “best in the world” is earned, not by winning a trophy.
Paige confronts WWE referee Jason Ayers and asks him why he was sanctioned to referee the previous match. Ayers claims Miz said Paige sanctioned the decision already. From out of nowhere, the two local competitors appear and ask for their five thousand dollar invoices for their effort in the match. Paige destroys the invoice and demands them to leave.
In-Ring Segment – Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio
Randy Orton appears and heads to the ring while holding a steel chair. Orton reflects his actions made against Rey Mysterio the past three weeks. He then questions Rey why he would request a chairs match against The Viper at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs this Sunday. He then warns Rey about the RKO but Mysterio attacks him from behind with the steel chair. This causes the Apex Predator to escape onto the entrance ramp and Mysterio stands tall.
Randy Orton does not disappoint to create the real vibe a heel. His vindictive promo skills remind me of when he was known as The Legend Killer back in the day. Having the underdog fight back. I have seen chairs matches these past two years to know that this might be a regular No-Disqualification match with nothing extra behind it. Really curious to see how this plays out though.
Backstage Interview: Becky Lynch
The Smack Down Live Women’s Champion Becky Lynch appears backstage where she is interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Braxton asks Lynch how she will be scouting Charlotte Flair versus Askua heading into Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Sunday night. Lynch responds by saying that her first match back from injury will prove why she is The Man and how every one should be intimidated “when The Man comes around”, referencing Johnny Cash’s classic song.
Match #3: Tag Team Match – Jeff Hardy and Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe
Before the match begins, R-Truth and Carmella interrupt for a quick dance break. After the slight distraction, Shinsuke capitalizes over the Charismatic Enigma. Dominating Hardy, Samoa Joe tags in and sends Hardy into the outside to bring us to commercial break. Returning from break, Joe dominates Hardy and tags in Nakamura to continue the onslaught. However, it is Jeff Hardy who makes a comeback and hits Joe with Whisper in the Wind to gain offense. Jeff tags in Rusev and attacks the current United States Champion with rapid offense. Rusev kicks Nakamura and Jeff sends Joe to the outside. With an opening, Shinsuke sets up for the kinsasha finisher but is reversed with a Machka kick and gains the victory for the team.
Result: Rusev and Jeff Hardy victory
Finally, we see Rusev get the pin over a WWE titleholder. I have not seen that in quite some time but it is finally nice to see that as a fan of the Bulgarian Brute. This will gain huge momentum for his championship match this Sunday. Hopefully, instead of Nakamerica, we will be celebrating Rusev Day in Machkamerica!
Backstage Segment: Miz and Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon confronts Miz and ask why he set him up with these opponents and raising tension, blaming the Best in the World Trophy. Miz responds by saying he wants to be considered Best in the World too, not just a McMahon. Miz asks for a handshake as a symbol of an apology but Shane declines and walks off.
Backstage Interview: AJ Styles
Kayla Braxton is seen, interviewing the former WWE Champion AJ Styles backstage. Styles claims heavy hatred for The New Daniel Bryan and can not wait to put a beatdown on him. He acknowledges that if he delivers the beatdown now, then Daniel Bryan will be unable to compete at TLC this Sunday. To conclude, he values his timing and aspires to win back the WWE championship from Bryan.
Match #4 (Main Event): Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka
Before the match begins, Becky Lynch appears to be at ringside for this high-caliber rematch. As soon as the bell rings, the two women go back and forth with offensive drives to gain an advantage. Nonetheless, it is Asuka who drops The Queen with a German suplex to get ahead. However, Charlotte stops her momentum after multiple attempts of the Asuka Lock going to the first commercial break of the match. Coming back from commercial, Asuka and Charlotte go back-and-forth with strikes to find an opening. The Empress of Tomorrow applies the Octopus Stretch but switches to a series of submissions. Charlotte escapes with a impromptu powerpomb for the quick two count. Charlotte teases Asuka by slapping her and applies the Figure Four Leglock. However, Asuka reverses it and escapes. Charlotte gains the upperhand and dominates the Empress. As the assault occurs on the outside, Flair stares down at Becky. After numerous exchanges, as Charlotte leads for the spear, Asuka counters with a codebreaker. After the kickout from Charlotte, Asuka gains advantage but gets stopped by a huge spear from The Queen. Charlotte attempts a moonsault but Asuka applies another Asuka Lock. Charlotte brings them both to the outside. Charlotte brings out a kendo stick and hits Asuka, causing the disqualification. She then hits Becky with the kendo stick. Becky returns the attack to both Charlotte and Becky until she is stopped by Asuka. With an ruthless attack to both competitors, Asuka stands tall with Becky and Charlotte laid out to end the show.
Phenomenal match. I believe tonight’s WrestleMania rematch was a thousand times better than their original match back in April. Even with the DQ finish, it still lived up to the expectations I had for it going in. With the addition of The Man, this created a successful display for this Sunday. Good for Asuka standing tall! I cannot wait for all three women to tear the house down and make history in San Jose!
If I have said this once, I will say it one million times more. SmackDown Live did not disappoint from entertaining its audience! Sure, the finish of the main event was a bummer and the Best in the World label has been overused for quite some time, but the quality of each match surely says otherwise. Even each interview segment felt genuine, even when Flair wooed into the microphone to the point where the audio system aired out. I do have to admit, the dance break was unnecessary as well as another best in the world tag team match. But either way, the city of Las Vegas got themselves a dapper of a show. I believe the audience received its good dosage of entertainment and awe. If I would have to provide a grade for tonight’s festivities, I would grade it as a C or B for the show before Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. Good show!